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2021: Another serious drought year despite late precipitation

Courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology

2021 is among the driest years on record for Spokane, but conditions have improved dramatically in the past couple of months.

Back in September, the city's drought declaration was D4, indicating exceptional drought. National Weather Service meteorologist Rocco Pelatti says the area was way behind average precipitation back then."Precipitation total was only 5.03 inches, which is a little over 5 inches below normal,” he said.

But Pelatti says the last several weeks of precipitation has moved Spokane to D1, or moderate drought.

“We're at 11.28 inches, so that number is a lot bigger, but were still just under five inches of the normal value of 16," he said.

Pelatti says snowfall is expected to boost that number up a bit more before the end of the year, but 2021 will still be among the 10 driest on record for Spokane.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.